Clocking in and clocking out is the daily life of 86 percent of the US population. Although we live in an era of self-made “bosses” and entrepreneurs, the majority of us still work for large corporations. The American dream used to consist of being a business professional, who went in to an office every day with their Starbucks in hand. Now, that same so called dream has been downgraded to a dream that’s not big enough. In this generation, almost everyone has decided to go into business for themselves. Instagram and other social media outlets often provide the facade of the glorious entrepreneur lifestyle. You tend to see nice photos, luxury items and trips but they fail to take into account the hard work, failures and countless hours put in to make it work. Being able to see the instant gratification causes more and more people to jump in headfirst, not realizing how real entrepreneurship can actually get.
But why is it that there is such a stigma around working a 9-5? Everyone does not desire to become an entrepreneur. Does it mean they aren’t successful? Does it mean they don’t have any drive? No, it could simply mean they are happy with their current life and they may love what they do. There is always so much judgment placed on others who don’t want to go into business for themselves, as if they aren’t living their dreams. Even if you want to pursue other interests, it is ok to still be working your current job and to focus on your hustle part time.
If it makes you feel any better a good 75% of these social media entrepreneurs/influencers actually take great photos but that is about it. Followers do not always equal dollars. Don’t be fooled. On the contrary, there are several entrepreneurs who are actually doing their thing and are using social media as an appropriate platform to brand and sell their business. It is ok to support your favorite entrepreneur and not feel like you are being forced into a world you do not want to be in.
Take pride in your career if it makes you happy. If anything, think of ways your career can benefit you. I personally never wanted to become an entrepreneur, writing has just always been my passion and I decided to pursue it. But even when I’m not writing, I make my job work for me.
Here are a few tips to make your 9-5 work for you:
Set a Goal
- I told myself by 2018, I wanted to be making a certain amount of money. Your goal can be to get into a certain position, career field, etc.
Devise a Plan
- Put a plan in motion to help you achieve your goal. Sign up for college courses, certifications, or even any trainings that will improve your knowledge or resume.
Get a Mentor or Job Shadow
- I was notorious for finding someone in the position I wanted to be in and job shadowing with them. It would give me the hands on experience I needed and it would help me get my name out there.
- Job shadowing also gives you a leg up on the competition. I have gotten promoted several times without prior experience due to job shadowing.
Use that PTO!
- Take those mental health days aka days when you just need a break. Go on vacation, you earned it. Literally.
- Sign up for committees at work to help you network. Also, volunteer for special projects around the office, if possible.
Don’t compare yourself!
- It is easy to get discouraged when you see everyone around you living a life you would like to live. Love the space you are in and work on being a better you. Your time is coming.